Parkview Wins Class AAAAA Baseball Championship

Panthers stun Hillgrove with 13 runs in the seventh inning for first title since 2002.

Having scored 13 or more runs in only six of 38 games previously, Parkview's baseball team picked the perfect time to score that many in a single inning Monday.

Trailing 10-8 after six innings of Memorial Day's decisive third game of the Class AAAAA championship series against visiting Hillgrove, the Panthers exploded for 13 runs on 11 hits to rout the Hawks, 21-10.

"We knew we wanted to add more than just the three we needed (to win)," said Travis Naraine whose first single in the seventh made it 10-9 and whose second that inning made it 18-10. "We just wanted to keep it going."

As Hillgrove fans stood hushed in shock, Parkview batted 15 players in the top of the seventh and kept rounding the bases. Josh Hart's sacrifice fly drove in the tying run, then Matt Olson, who hit two homers in Game 2 on Saturday, cracked a three-run shot to give the Panthers all they'd need with a 13-10 advantage. Jeff Ronprin followed with a solo blast, and Edwin Arias even added a three-run dinger -- his second of the game -- for the final margin.

"I knew they were going to throw me that fastball," Arias said of his seventh homer. "I just waited on it."

Olson, whose team-high 17 home runs helped the Panthers (29-10) to their fourth state championship and first under seventh-year coach Chan Brown, said he felt relaxed upon stepping into the batter's box with the score tied.

"When I get in that (situation), I get a sense," he said. "I felt more relaxed than I thought I would."

Hillgrove, which used six pitchers, couldn't stop the onslaught.

"You have to give Parkview all kinds of credit for that amazing inning," Hawks coach David Richardson said. "Thirteen runs on 11 hits is incredible.

"We were three outs from winning a state title."

Once Hillgrove's Robert Stewart salvaged a split in Saturday's opening doubleheader with a three-run homer in the 10th inning of Game 2, the Hawks believed a championship in their fifth season of existence was possible. That nearly became reality in the third inning Monday, when Hillgrove (29-9) got six runs on three hits and two errors to go from 8-4 behind to 10-8 ahead. Tyler Graham ignited the inning with a two-run homer and Hillgrove appeared on the verge of cashing in on its first-ever championship series.

But in the end, it was Parkview who claimed its first state championship since winning in 1996, 2001 and '02.

Jack Esmonde (4-1), Parkview’s second reliever, earned the win in Georgia's first championship-series game of more than 30 combined runs since 2005.

Abelardo Casillas May 31, 2011 at 09:02 AM
Laura Hudlow May 31, 2011 at 09:37 AM
Congratulations, Parkview !!!


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